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Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge - Review

Cruel Beauty

❋ ❋ 

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast with elements of Rumpelstiltskin and Greek mythology in the mix. Ever since Nyx was born she has know that she's to marry the Gentle Lord on her 17th birthday in order to destroy him and save her people and country. Ignifex, the Gentle Lord, has ruled the land for 900 years with with the shadows and has done many demon deals that never end well (namely, Nyx's mother who died as a result of her father's deal). Of course, Ignifex (a combination of Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon A Time and Crowley from Supernatural) isn't exactly what she expected and she finds herself strangely drawn to him as she begins to uncover his secrets and bring about his downfall. The more she learns the more she questions whether or not she will actually be able to do her duty and kill him.

What I loved most: the overall concept, the world-building, the mixture of fairy tale and Greek mythology, and the audiobook narrator's voice. I didn't, however, particularly like or find myself rooting for the characters, especially Nyx. She was a little too fickle for my liking, especially when it comes to Ignifex/Shade. I'd also say she had some serious lapses in common sense - in her shoes I think I'd be 100x more wary and suspicious of everything given her mission.

I would definitely say I have mixed feelings because I liked the sundered setting and all of the twists and the final reveal, but the main character took down a couple of notches since I couldn't connect with her given all of that potential.

Three notes that made me think of other tv shows: the story about the Kindly Ones sounds like a crossroad demon deal from Supernatural, the shadows/demons instantly had me thinking of the Vashta Nerada from Doctor Who,
and the language used during the discovery of the Heart of Fire reminded me very much of the Heart of the TARDIS/ time vortex/ Bad Wolf from Doctor Who.

Final thought: Would Rosamund Hodge have made the parallel between the Beast and Rumpelstiltskin if it weren't for Once Upon a Time?

I read this from June 1 - 6, 2014 and my review is also available on Goodreads.


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